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gorleston mag service 750AT
Gorleston Church opens new community facilities

St Mary Magdalene Church in Gorleston celebrated the completion of new community facilities on Sunday January 23 with a special service led by the Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham Usher.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Great Yarmouth, along with representatives from Norfolk County Council and the Magdalen Ward borough councillors, Cllrs Trevor Wainwright and Brian and Colleen Walker also attended the service. 
gorleston mag bishop 510ATThe church has made changes to the main worship space in order to transform it into a multi-functional space available for community use. A new kitchen and café area at the back of the church has also been introduced and the toilets, which were first installed in 1957, have been renovated to include an accessible toilet. Improvements have also been made to the meeting room and office facilities.
Rev Matthew Price, Vicar of St Mary Magdalene Church, said, “At the heart of our vision as a parish church is to bring transformation by serving our wider community.  These facilities will enhance our ability to do that.  Already the new space is being used by Magpies, our parent and baby/toddler group, an expanded version of The Bridge, the church’s weekly lunch club, and Open House, a community drop in on Wednesday mornings.  I am excited about the possibilities for the future.  We also want our church building to be a welcoming space for all people and the accessible toilet is a long overdue development.”
gorleston mag cafe 750ATAt the celebration service, The Bishop of Norwich thanked all those who had been involved in the vision, carrying out the work and offering support and funding, and dedicated the new facilities with a special prayer. He said, “It was just such a sheer joy to be at St Mary Magdalene Church on Sunday to dedicate (and flush) their new facilities! The day’s Gospel text was all about good news to the poor, release to captives, sight to blind, freedom for oppressed, proclaiming the Lord’s favour. This is a daily-lived reality at this estate church as it is in many of our parishes around Norfolk and Waveney.”
The work, which began in November 2021 and was completed in January 2022, benefited from funding totalling £38,500 from Norfolk County Council’s Social Infrastructure Fund.
Cllr Graham Plant, Deputy Leader of Norfolk County Council and Natasha Hayes, Head of Communities at the County Council, whose department oversees the Social Infrastructure Fund, attended the service, and were pleased to see the difference their funding had made.
Cllr Plant said, “It’s been great to see how our Social Infrastructure Fund has been used to create such a fantastic space for the local community. It’s always a good sign when you come to an opening for a new facility, and it’s already being enjoyed every week. I’m sure its use will only grow and that it will be a real asset for the people of Gorleston for years to come.”
St Mary Magdalene Church is located on the Magdalen estate in Gorleston and runs a food bank, lunch club, community drop ins, a youth club, Mags, and Magpies parent and baby/toddler group during the week. The also offer support to families during school holidays through their FAM programme.  The church buildings are also the home to 2nd Gorleston Scout Group, Gorleston Community Choir, Pawzitive Partners dog training and Slimming World.

Visit St Mary Magdalen's website.

The picture, top, of the congregation turning to witness the dedication is courtesy of Hannah Ashpole.
The picture, above, of the Bishop of Norwich dedicating the new facilities is courtesy of Brian Philpot.
The picture, bottom, of the new café area is courtesy of Anna Price.



TonyRothe150Do you have a news story or forthcoming event relating to Christians or a church in East Norfolk?  

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Tony Rothe, 31/01/2022

Tony Rothe
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